The word “scarring” can bring to the mind unsightly images of the skin being unclear and having blurred patches. Scars are the formations on the skin after an incidence of wound or disease that affects the skin, and they always come as a byproduct of the natural skin’s healing process. Scars occur when the tissues underneath the upper surface of the skin suffer from significant damage, and then get repaired by the fiber tissues, making the formation of the scar essential in order to complete the repairing process.
Whenever there is a scarring, know that the lower skin layers have been damaged. Scarring is characterized by the marks that form on the skin following any sort of surgery, or an injury. Whatever the situation, physical injuries that damage the skin will always lead to the formation of scars, contrary to injuries which trigger internal damage that is not visible.
Types, Reasons and Symptoms
Among studies on hypertrophic scarring, the prevalence rate of this condition varied between 32 and 72 percent. Identified risk factors for scarring include dark skin, young age, multiple surgical procedures, female gender, young age, burn site on neck and upper limb, meshed skin graph, burn severity, and time to healing.
The appearance of scars will be different in every individual as it depends upon certain factors including the characteristics of the wound, location of the wound, and genetic factors. Also, the healing process in every individual differs, and there may sometimes be defective healing, which leads to the formation of an unusual scar that keeps enlarging over time. Scars are formed as part of the natural healing process, so the damaged site has a red, sensitive area. However, the scarred site usually becomes lighter with the passage of time.
Diagnosis and Treatment
As being of a physical nature, scarring is characterized to be detected by visual observation. However, there situations may arise when the scar needs to be studied in depth in order to know the level of damage to the internal layers of the tissues. These situations ascend from abnormal skin conditions that may end up forming a scar.
Scars occur naturally as a healing aid for the wound, and many are not considered serious enough to be given removal treatment. Also, studies suggest scars cannot be completely removed, so treatment often focuses on making the scar less visible and less of a distraction. Only the ones that appear to be undesirable cosmetically are given attention and regarded as important to be given treatment.
The various treatments include surgery, microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, fillers, steroid injections, and topical treatments. While the surgical treatments can be used to remove the scars, they do not attain a 100 percent success. They just work to alter the shape of the scar, or flatten the skin so the scar appears cosmetically desirable.
Topical medications are always required when treating the scars. Even after the surgery, the tissues of the skin that were damaged need to be constantly nourished in order to regain their shape. Though it may be difficult, massaging topical medications on the scarred sites will help the tissues beneath the skin be rejuvenated and make improve the appearance.
Several topical medications include vitamin E cream, cocoa butter, and other skin care remedies that help the marks to appear better and promote the healing of the skin cells. Whatever treatment for scars is chosen, regular application of the medication is required, as the healing process requires time and cells needs constant nourishment.
Lawrence, J.W., Mason, S.T., Schomer, K., and Klein, M.B. (2012). Epidemiology and impact of scarring after burn injury: a systematic review of the literature. J Burn Care Res, 33(1), 136 – 146. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22138807